Insight Help Center

Academic Expectations

When teachers have high expectations for students’ success, they have a meaningful positive impact on academic achievement. In this Insight survey domain, teachers share their perceptions of what their students can achieve and their engagement with grade-level standards.


Based on our extensive experience, TNTP recommends the following as evidence-based practices for this domain:

  • Allow teachers to see students succeeding with more rigorous material through peer or leader modeling.
  • Learn which teachers are spending the most time creating or finding lessons outside the adopted curriculum and ask why.
  • Model holding all students to a high standard and communicate expectations that all students will be given grade-appropriate assignments regardless of current performance level.
  • Avoid asking teachers to consciously suppress their biases; this can be counterproductive.


Resource Description
The Opportunity Myth A report on TNTP’s national research showing that students have unequal access to key resources, including having teachers who hold high expectations for them
Teachers’ Expectations Survey A survey to gather information about teachers’ expectations for students
Good to Great Reflection Guide A reflection protocol to keep notes on what your students achieve when they’re given the chance to try grade-appropriate assignments
Bias Toolkit A toolkit from UnboundEd for having brave conversations about bias as a school community
A Vicious Cycle: A Social–Psychological Account of Extreme Racial Disparities in School Discipline An article summarizing research on how teacher expectations based on race can affect school discipline decisions
Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students by Zaretta Hammond An exploration of how neuroscience can inform effective culturally responsive teaching to engage culturally and linguistically diverse students in learning

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